The Long Road Ahead: Status Report on the Implementation of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangements on Professional Services

Publication | February 2017

Over the past decade, ASEAN has signed Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) in seven occupations, all designed to facilitate professional mobility within the region.

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MRAs are not easy to operationalize, however. Despite progress in key areas, member states face complex challenges as they move toward full implementation. This report is the latest in a project by the Asian Development Bank and the Migration Policy Institute to improve understanding of the barriers to the free movement of professionals within ASEAN and to support the development  of strategies to overcome these hurdles.

The report draws on the insights of nearly 400 ASEAN and member state officials, private sector employers, training directors, and others who participated in focus group discussions, meetings, and surveys.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • The Role of Mutual Recognition Arrangements in the ASEAN Economic Community: Ambitions and Expectations
  • Paper vs. Practice: Key Progress on Mutual Recognition Arrangements Implementation
  • Towards Full Implementation: Key Challenges
  • Beyond Issues of Mutual Recognition: Linking Development and Mobility
  • Conclusion: Taking the “ASEAN Way” Forward
  • Appendixes

Additional Details

  • Regional cooperation and integration
  • Social development and protection
  • Migration, trafficking, and human mobility
  • Social protection - labor and employment
  • 68
  • 8.5 x 11
  • RPT178637-2
  • 978-92-9257-735-3 (print)
  • 978-92-9257-736-0 (electronic)

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